The gorilla thundered through the underbrush, his chest heaving as he snorted, narrowing his eyes in determination. There was no way this was the end. No way he was going to let those damned pegasi tag him with another dart. No way he was going back… there.
"WARGLRARJAJRKGJK!" the beast screamed in fury, pounding a muscular arm into its chest while tossing an errant fern out of the way of its rampage. Still he soldiered on, despite the lasers fling all around him.
"We've almost got him, Lightfoot! Keep firing!"
The voice of the pegasus mare rang out through the jungle, startling various creatures who immediately moved to scatter throughout the shrubbery. The gorilla's heart was pounding, and the rush of his panicked blood was almost audible within his own h-
ead as he ran, dodging laser fire as best he could. A sharp, searing pain cut through his shoulder, causing him to release a primal scream. The pain was intense, far worse than any the primate had ever ex-
perienced before, but he wouldn't let it slow him down. He couldn't. To fail now meant to be captured, and to be captured meant going back to the facility. The facility where cruel experiments were run, where precious life was sto-
"SOARIN WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
The quick slap jolted the daydreaming stallion from his thoughts, and Soarin shook his head rapidly to clear the vivid images from his mind. Before him stood Spitfire, looking very much embarrassed, with a curious-looking Rainbow Dash pressed tightly to her side.
"Uh… Spitfire, is he always like this?"
The saffron pegasus sighed and brought a hoof up to her forehead. "Yeah, pretty much. Head back inside, I'll be there in a minute."
The smaller pegasus offered a small blush and a nod before retreating behind Spitfire and moving back into the bedroom. As soon as the door closed, a high-pitched squeal rang throughout the hallway, to which Spitfire immediately rolled her eyes.
"Sweet kid, really. She came to apologize in pony. Didn't think the letter was enough of an apology for what went down at the Gala, or whatever." The mare shrugged and stood on her hind legs, leaning back into the door as she nonchalantly inspected a hoof. "So, what's in the box, stud?"
Soarin looked down at the box, fully prepared to explain his plan, when something occurred to him. A violet burst of light danced across his vision as he was swept into a flashback, and somewhere in the distance, Shining Armor keeled over and died, but nopony cared.
Back in Soarin's mind was the gorilla, running madly, before he brought a hoof up to the side of his head and smacked himself to change the channel. Not the memory he was looking for. With another two smacks, he had it, and the scene from just a few days ago began to replay in his memories.
There Spitfire sat, wearing fishnets and a leather corset. Soarin himself was sitting across from her, completely naked and devouring his French fries as the two idly chatted in the open-air café.
Soarin looked up with interest, and regarded his lover with adoring eyes. She was so hot. Like fire. Fire that could spit.
"I'd totally fuck a mare. Just sayin'."
All at once, Soarin was drawn back into the present, and his eyes widened in horror.
Spitty likes mares and stallions. There's a mare in her room. COMPETITION ALERT. ALL SOARINS TO BATTLE STATIONS.
Soarin stood upright, furrowing his brow as he glared directly at his pegasus partner. Spitfire held his gaze, one eyebrow raised as she blew a stray lock of hair from her face.
"Babe? You alright?"
"Fine, and better than any mare!" Soarin dipped down and grabbed the box with a smooth spinning motion, before holding it out in front of himself and putting on a sultry look. Which is to say he tilted his head slightly to the left and stuck his tongue out. "I made you a cake! Because I love you so much, and I wanted you to get better!"
Spitfire lowered her hoof down in front of her chest, a look of utter adoration and surprise sweeping over her face as she did so. "You… made me a cake? Really?"
Soarin nodded enthusiastically. "No. I just decorated it, but it's the thought that counts, and I'm your coltfriend that you totally wouldn't cheat on! That's what I'm supposed to do!"
The mare blinked, slightly confused at Soarin's sudden cheeky smile and strange mannerisms. "Soar? You alright? And… I am feeling better, by the way…"
"Yes! I'm good! Better than good! Wonderful! Like a Wonderbolt! Which I am, remember? Best coltfriend ever!" Soarin flashed a wide grin and began to sweat, worried beyond all reason that the gorilla wouldn't escape and that his lover might no longer be his.
Spitfire offered a warm smile and dropped to all fours before extending a hoof toward the cake. "Yeah, I guess you are, huh?" Soarin beamed as she flipped open the top, and Spitfire's eyes widened in surprise at what lay beneath within the cardboard box.
A bright blue cake, topped with miniature dolphins swimming toward a large caliber machine gun took up the entire bottom of the box. A sugar model of Spitfire lay atop the weapon, froze in a sultry pose, while an equally-sized model of Soarin was placed upside-down in a random spot within the icing ocean. Topping the intricate and extremely confusing display was a beach ball constructed of spun sugar nestled dead center in the cake, and topped with a fez.
Spitfire was unsure what to say, and blinked rapidly upon seeing the confection. Despite the strangeness and blatant… Soarin-ness, she had to admit that it did look good…
"Aw, thanks, Soar. You know just how to… do whatever the hay it is that you do." The mare leaned in for a quick peck on the cheek, and Soarin pumped a hoof as he felt his confidence rise.
Soarin: one, Rainbow Dash: NEGATIVE ALL THE POINTS.
"So uh, let's head on inside. Rainbow's probably dying in there, especially with two Wonderbolts so close." Spitfire smiled and turned to open the door, leaving Soarin to carry the cake in behind her. The entire procession was held up by Rainbow Dash, who was standing mere inches behind the door as it opened, wearing the widest smile that either of the other pegasi had ever seen.
"So… uh, guys. What's up? Are we gonna do something cool? I-I mean… if I'm allowed to stay for a bit! I don't want to impose!" Rainbow coughed. "YesIdo," she added under her breath.
"Hm… well, I'm kinda hungry, but it's a little early for cake. What if the three of us grab lunch?" Spitfire proposed. Various alarms went off in Soarin's head immediately, but he was far too slow to stop the snowballing momentum.
"Lunch? With two Wonderbolts? Oh man, this is gonna be so awesome!" Rainbow hopped on her back hooves, squealing madly as Soarin fought to keep the grin off his face. After all, she was a fan, and he did love fans…
"Sounds good. Lead the way!"
Soarin placed the cake upon the nearby countertop and turned to find Rainbow leaning in toward Spitfire, her wings extended and head tilted slightly. The stallion was frozen to the spot, a look of horror plastered upon his face as… Rainbow Dash touched a hoof to his lover's cheek.
"You had some dirt. I got it off," the polychromatic flier stated while shaking her hoof off with a smile.
"Oh." Spitfire blinked. "Well, thanks!"
Rainbow Dash merely nodded and followed Spitfire out of the room and into the hallway. Soarin stood, stunned, and feeling very much alone. Narrowing his brows in determination, he resolved to win Spitfire back. He was the only one permitted to touch Spitty's cheeks, facial or otherwise. Suddenly, the idea came to him with all the speed of something relatively fast: he had to impress her. Outdo Rainbow Dash, and the mare was his once again.
I've got this. Time to impress… Soarin style.
And with that, the stallion promptly exited the room to join the waiting girls.
"Here again? Why here? Why did it have to be here? Why are we here? We're… we're here. Here. Heeeeeeeeeeere…"
Spitfire raised a brow and tucked a hoof under herself as Soarin stood next to the table, a look of horror plastered upon his face. In his mind, it was The Table of Destiny. The very same table at which his only partially-accurate memories told him that his mare was potentially being unfaithful. The same café, the same seating, but with a new pony added to ruin the fun.
"But Soar, I thought you liked this place. This was our first… well. Y'know." Spitfire gave a wry smile, not quite willing to say it aloud. Rainbow Dash cocked an eyebrow as she moved over to one of the waiting seats and plopped down, putting her elbows atop the table.
"Your first what?"
"Nothing!" Soarin answered quickly. "Um… let's just eat. I GET TO SIT NEXT TO SPITTY!"
The light yellow pegasus brought a hoof into her face with a fair amount of force before pushing out a sigh. "Soarin… it's a circular table. Both of you are sitting next to me. What is your deal today?"
"I don't have a deal! I'm deal-free! Heh… eheh…" Soarin lowered his wings, whimpering slightly as Spitfire glared him down. Somehow, he was losing ground. He needed to impress her, and fast. His mind working overtime, Soarin sat down quietly in his chair before standing up immediately and pulling Spitfire's out. The mare gave him a quizzical look, chased by a warm smile and a slightly warmer blush.
"…thanks." As Spitfire sat down, Rainbow picked up a menu and began to read. Soarin followed suit, making sure that he would decide upon his order before she did. As his mind worked at double speed, his eyes roamed the menu with a barely-contained fury.
Hay fries. Nothing but hay fries. Hay fries and barbecue sauce. I hope the gorilla is alright. Hay fries. Spitfire's ass. Hay. Ass. Gorilla. Ass. Hay. SECRET LESBIAN TRAITORS!
The stallion slammed his menu down, standing upright and thrusting a hoof into Rainbow's face, much to the smaller mare's surprise. The poor pegasus jumped, tucking her forelegs in defensively as the stallion glared her down.
"D-did I do something wrong?"
"I CHALLENGE YOU! I CHALLENGE YOU TO… TO AN EATING CONTEST! THE WINNER GETS… WELL, YOU'LL SEE!"
The prize in question narrowed her eyes, slightly confused and very annoyed. "Soarin, would you just chill out already? Geeze, we're supposed to be on a bit of an undercover vacation! Everypony is looking at us now!"
Soarin shrank back into his seat, fuming. "The contest still stands. Whoever can eat a plate of hay fries first wins… stuff. Stuff that the other pony can't touch." The stallion stuck his tongue out, making sure to be as mature as possible.
Spitfire reached across the table and touched Rainbow's hoof, trying desperately to calm the shaking mare. "He's not usually this… whatever. I'm really sorry."
"No, it's okay!" Rainbow shook her head and flashed a cheeky grin. "I like… stuff!"
"I'M SURE YOU DO!"
"SOARIN! SHUT UP!"
Spitfire glared daggers at the stallion, but Rainbow placed her hoof atop Spitfire's before silently vowing never to wash it again. "I'll compete. I mean… you're the only two ponies in Equestria I might not be able to out-fly, so… I'll take a shot at out-eating him. It'll be fun!" Rainbow nodded and lightly bumped Soarin upon the shoulder with her hoof. "Game on, Soarin!"
Just before Soarin could respond, a white earth pony wearing a tuxedo walked up to the table, holding a platter outward with a single hoof. "Are you all ready to order?"
"Hay fries. Two plates. She's going down." Soarin snorted in determination as he handed the menu over to the waiting stallion. Rainbow smirked confidently, flexing her wings and rolling her shoulders a bit as Spitfire buried her face in her hooves.
"A garden salad. And Maretrin, if you have any."
The waiter shook his head, sighing as he turned away from the other two ponies who were engaging in a foreleg-flexing contest. "I'm sorry, ma'am. We don't have medicine at the café."
Spitfire looked up and pointed a hoof across the table in exasperation at her beau, who was busy trying to balance a glass atop his nose to impress the smaller mare. "Look at what I'm dealing with, man. How about alcohol? You guys have alcohol, yeah?"
The waiter continued to watch as Soarin dropped his glass, shattering it on the tile below as Rainbow moved to imitate his actions. "…I'll bring you a bottle of our strongest stuff. On the house, Miss Spitfire."
Spitfire's eyes widened, and she quickly handed over her menu as well. "You recognize me even out of the suit?"
"Indeed. I do have to charge you for the broken glass…" a shattering sound rang out as Rainbow dropped hers as well "…es. I'm sure you understand."
"Absolutely. Just… hurry. I can't deal with this sober."
The earth pony nodded and quickly trotted away to go and retrieve the orders. Spitfire resigned herself to wondering where she went wrong as Soarin started a 'picking up broken glass' contest, only to cut himself and begin wailing loudly. Rainbow Dash fashioned a tourniquet out of her napkin, and then used the cloth to begin sweeping the shards off the floor while Soarin glared at her furiously.
What the hell is going on? Why is he being so… so… UGH!
Having had more than enough for one day, Spitfire slammed her hoof into the table, causing both of the other pegasi to jump in surprise.
"Look. Soarin, I have no idea what's gotten into you, but after this little contest, we need to have a talk. Rainbow, I'm sorry he's being so ridiculous. I'll make it up to you somehow."
The cyan flier shrunk back in her seat, unnerved by the sight of her idol being so serious. "Spitfire, uh… um, it's alright. I'm kinda having fun. I just wish I knew why I'm being challenged to all of these contests… or whatever," the pony mumbled.
"Don't act like you don't know,' Soarin responded.
"Do you know?" came Spitfire's retort.
Spitfire cast her hooves up into the air before settling back into her seat with a defeated huff. "Just… eat your damned fries. Afterward, you and I need to have words." The mare crossed her arms and turned her head, only to snap it back immediately as the waiter returned.
"Thank Celestia. No, don't even give me a glass." Spitfire waved her hoof as the stallion replaced the expensive crystal upon the tray. "And… don't give them any either, come to think of it." The waiter smirked and set the food down before turning to leave, and Spitfire uncorked the bottle of expensive wine and brought it to her lips.
Two plates of hay fries piled high, letting off steam in the afternoon sun now rested atop the table, and the two contestants glared down at the food, and then each other.
"You're goin' down, flyboy. I mean… Second-in-Command Soarin. Who I totally admire. Like a lot." Rainbow blushed furiously, hanging her head to hide the scarlet tint on her cheeks.
"Yeah, well… not without a fight."
Spitfire tilted the bottle downward, making a hollow popping noise with her lips as she pointed it at Soarin. "Get her, Baby. I MEAN… stallion I'm totally not involved with at all. You've got this."
The little title caused Soarin's heart to flutter, as he thought he knew what Spitfire meant. Maybe. With a confident smile, he tried to crack his hooves and failed, because you can't exactly crack hooves. Settling for licking his lips instead, the male turned to Spitfire, and gave a quick nod. "Count us in… not-Babe."
The blushing Wonderbolt took another swig, feeling a bit of warmth rush through her body, though from the alcohol or Soarin, she wasn't quite sure. Perhaps there was a certain charm to his thickness? That was a question that would have to wait. Spitfire leaned forward, putting her elbows on the table and her hooves under her chin as she set the bottle down and raised a brow.
"The wheel of fate is turning…"
Both competing pegasi primed their wings, though neither was quite sure why.
Soarin leaned over his plate, eyes locked upon the mountain of fries below. Rainbow Dash licked her lips, planting her hooves firmly into the wrought-iron table.
"ACTION!" Spitfire brought her hoof down, and Soarin unleashed a mighty cry.
"FOR THE GORILLA!"
Author's Note: …I did say last chapter that there was no way it would be another two month wait. It was almost six! See? I'm so awesome!
Anyway, life and other shit (like Scented Venom…) got in the way, but this story is NOT dead. Two or three more chapters to go, depending on how things shake out, and they WILL be completed sooner than later. I doubt that this ridiculousness was worth such a wait, but I'll see this through to the end. I actually want to start doing something serious with Spitfire and Soarin soon, so this story is somewhat dragging me down… but I want to finish it off and stick to the original plan as much as I can. Night chapter 2 is up next, and then Electric Labyrinth chapter 2. Expect the first of those very, very soon!